Toronto’s International Festival of Authors has named Austin Clarke this year’s recipient of the $10,000 Harbourfront Festival Prize.
According to an IFOA press release, Clarke was selected by the jury “ television producer Denise Donlon, Toronto Star books and visual arts editor Dianne Rinehart, and IFOA director Geoffrey Taylor “ based on the “merits of his published work and his contributions to fostering the next generation of literary talent.”
Clarke is quoted as saying, “I rejoiced when I saw that Authors at Harbourfront Centre had named me this year’s winner of the Harbourfront Festival Prize. I did not come to this city on September 29, 1959, as a writer. I came as a student. However, my career as a writer buried any contention of being a scholar and I thank Authors at Harbourfront Centre for saving me from the more painful life of the ‘gradual student.’ It is an honour to be part of such a prestigious list of authors.”
Previous winners include Seth, Dionne Brand, Wayson Choy, Paul Quarrington, Jane Urquhart, and Guy Vanderhaege.
The prize will be presented Oct. 27 at the IFOA closing-night event celebrating the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists.